Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The numbers......

It was the week for numbers. Time to weigh in and do body scans – at first I was curious to see how I was going, then I started to feel dread – what if the numbers went the wrong way.
Many people are focused purely on what the scales tell them. I had considered buying scales to use at home. I thought that by seeing the numbers on a regular basis it would be my motivation to keep going. I had never been motivated by the numbers on the scale in the past so why would I this time around?

Time to check in on myself. What was my why in re-joining Fernwood and sacrificing sleep in the morning to head off to the gym. It was to gain more energy. It had nothing to do with the numbers, the numbers were secondary and only a goal I set after a few weeks I saw weight loss. So back to the main purpose, was I feeling more energised? YES I WAS.
I had created a habit of turning up 3-4 times a week and getting ‘huffy and puffy’. I had also created a new habit of eating right largely thanks to the Challenge. I had support within Fernwood to stay focused on those goals. I was doing more for my own health and wellbeing now than what I was 4 months ago, winning.

What did my numbers show me? They were moving in the right direction – the ones that were supposed to go up were going up, the ones that were supposed to go down were going down. Happy dance. Then I thought – I would like those increases/decreases to be greater. I then asked myself to get that result what did I need to do. The answer, I just needed to keep doing what I was doing but get better at it. More sessions at the gym, less straying into bad food habits.

At the half way mark of the challenge my new ‘bigger’ goals are five times visiting Fernwood and zero tolerance on bad foods (makes me feel sick anyway!). Giving me more energy and more focus to meet the needs of my exciting life!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Be Present

I am more than aware of the importance of being present in your life. I write about it in my book. On Monday this week I was walking home from Fernwood after a workout. The endorphins are running, the air is warm and crisp, the sun is rising over Mt Buninyong, Ballarat is waking up. I tap into all of those positive feelings. Every step I take I enjoy this moment. I don't think about the 100 jobs waiting for me at home that need to be done in the next hour. I am present in my own body and enjoying that walk home.

On Monday and Tuesday I am feeling great - as Lee woud say 'I got this'.

Then on Wednesday I can't get to my early morning workout - instead I steal some cuddles and kisses from my daughter. I get the day started. School drop off and head off to a 9.30 appointment. My head is thinking ahead through everything I need to have done for today, tomorrow night and Friday. My mind is racing, I was actually awake half the night thinking about everything that I needed to do (that coffee at 5pm was a BAD idea).

I stop at the red light, my mind racing, I go - only the car in front is still stopped at the red light. Crash. I close my eyes, open them, I have just hit a car. All because I was too busy thinking about things I shouldn't have been at that time. Luckily all passengers were OK - shaken - and both cars can get repaired.

After organising all the insurance and checking the cars were OK to drive, I retreat home for cuddles with my dog. This was the universe telling me to slow down and be present in my life. However the first thing I did today was not eat - my bad food habit - I didn't eat all day and then reached for sugary lollies to get the energy. So bad.

Tonight I not only feel bad for the accident that I caused and the excess I need to find, but my old food habit taking over - and not getting to the gym.

I am grateful today for my family, who I happily hung out with tonight instead of heading back into Fernwood. I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned today - here is to being more in the present tomorrow and every day after that! A return to the feeling I had on Monday.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Self Care is key to a healthy lifestyle

This week I could have easily fell into that feeling of failure towards the 12 week challenge that I did in the first week. Instead I turned it into self care - and I even had a massage!

This time last week I actually wasn't sure how I would meet all of my commitments for this week, and I hadn't even considered the commitment to get to Fernwood. This week I have travelled 532km's, (not counting playing mum taxi) and spoken five times at four different events. I have networked, celebrated International Women's Day, met some work deadlines, sold some books and my ecourse. Every day I have stuck to the meal plan, had more than enough water, walked twice to school with my daughter and dragged myself to an early morning PT session with Emily-who slowed it down a bit for me (thanks!), although I am still sore today. SO I am not going to think of the three gym sessions that I didn't get to, or any of the challenge meetups I didn't attend.

The first week showed me that I am doing this for long lasting benefits, beyond the 12 weeks, to change my lifestyle to a healthier one, and to look after myself better. Part of looking after myself is to now when I am busy in one area of my life I need to slow down in another - I really truly only have so much time in the day and I still need sleep.

One of the other things I have struggled with is meal prep - things have been pretty busy in my house lately - so I took Monday as a day to plan ahead and get on top of my house needs. To fit the Fernwood meal plan into my meal planning for my family and make it easier for me to prepare food for myself so I eat the right things - all day.

Having a massage was an absolute indulgence this week. I regularly have massages, this week I truly needed it. Helping to loosen up muscles that have been working in the last 6 weeks that haven't worked for a long time. De-stressing in the middle of a crazy week and really what a way to honour International Women's Day!

Next week is not as insane, so I really look forward to resetting and resuming my 6am out of bed and off to Fernwood routine and hopefully to some challenge meetups also!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Pressing the Reset Button

I pressed the reset button and got back into the challenge this week with all my heart. My big lesson this week is that I need to get planned and organised around food - because that is what gets me through the day and week. What is more it stops me 'snacking' on wrong foods! I also learned that my time at Fernwood is in the morning - the longer the day goes on the more excuses I have for not going!

There seems to be loads of discussion around the food - I started the 28 day breakthrough before beginning the challenge and from that I learned two things. 1) my daughter wouldn't eat the meals, and our family has two rules - we eat together and we eat the same thing. So it was back to our family meals. Plus I have a thermomix and I can't have it just sitting on the bench! The other thing I learned with the 28 day program was that there was way too much meat for me, so for the 12 week challenge I switched to the vegetarian option - yummo! The bonus us that I have healthy snacks and lunch planned - so I don't skip a meal and then graze!

I really don't like dealing with food and hate thinking about what to eat - so I plan meals for one month, I (online) supermarket shop once a fortnight and do fresh foods (fruit & veg market, butcher and health food shop) weekly. I also try and cook up on the weekend - including meals and school snacks.

The biggest challenge I have had with the meals is fitting them into my meal planning for my family - then I was shown the search function in the recipes. Now I can plan it all out!

I have a really busy week with work coming up - so next week anytime at Fernwood is going to be bonus time - I will be spending time preparing ahead a lot of meals so that I can take them with me and still eat well!

This week Emily made me work hard in PT and it felt good and I also got a new program, which is always a good motivation to keep on going!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Failing in the first week.....

Week one of the challenge has kicked off and by Wednesday I was feeling like a failure! I was seeing posts of other people hitting the gym, attending the Challenge class and here I was menstruating, recovering from a cold virus, meeting deadlines (and kicking goals) at work and being an attentive mum by attending school sports day. The thought of getting into Fernwood was stressful as I dragged myself through each day, just trying to keep everything in balance.

On Wednesday night I promised myself an early night, ready for my first PT with the wonderful Emily. My early night didn’t happen. Thankfully, my PT session did. Today I feel great (a little sore….) and ready to step back into my habit of exercise.

I have been able to keep to the food plan this week (modifying it to suit my family and me). I did fall into the trap of comfort eating (an old habit…) but it just didn’t have the same positive effect it would have a couple of months ago. There was no comfort, reaching for a piece of fruit or some nuts helped more than the chocolate!

To beat my feeling of failure I had to have a discussion with myself about taking each new day as just that, a new day. With a new day comes the chance to pick up where you left off and continue the journey. To be reminded to think about the bigger picture, and the end goal to help with motivation. Creating the habit of exercise and good eating and making that part of my everyday life – when my body says slow down I need to listen!

Emily reminded me this morning that a more ‘sustained’ approach to the challenge will be more successful and that made me feel so much better!

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Fernwood 12 Week Challenge

I am making my health a priority in 2017 and so on the 20 February I will be starting the Fernwood 12 Week Challenge. I am excited, nervous and a little stressed about how I am going to fit it in, but it is a priority so I am going to make it work for me.

This is my 3rd time as a member of Fernwood. I have not focused at all on my health in the last 6 years - instead focusing on my daughter, business and life. My health has been the missing piece.

With this piece missing I have had little energy - and certainly not the energy to keep up with a busy little girl and a business that I am wanting to upscale this year.

So I committed in December 2016 to re-joining Fernwood and finding my energy again. In January I begun by simply creating the habit of going 3 times a week. Then I decided that if I could create the habit of exercise then I could eat better and aim for weight loss also. SO I started the 28 day breakthrough challenge and decided that I wanted to shed 50kg in total and it would be great to lose 20kg by Christmas this year.

Already I am starting to miss exercise on days I am not doing anything, and on days where I slip a little and can't pre-prepare healthy food then I feel yuck!

My intention this year is to think bigger with all of my goals - so what has started as gaining energy has quickly grown to creating healthy habits around exercise and food and wanting weight loss.

Just when I thought this could not get any bigger or anymore focused I have taken the opportunity to join the 12 week challenge. I have added to my diary all of the appointments and the extra classes, and my PT sessions. I already know that I am not going to get to them all, as family and work are still high priorities. I will make the best effort to re-schedule or do make-up sessions to fit in around my world. Plus I will be sharing my journey along the way.......

I have already said no (or later in the year) to a couple of other opportunities which have come my way, in order to make room for achieving this very big goal of mine - and my why - To have the energy to give to my business and keep up with my daughter.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Facing Social Media

This article originally appeared on Mouths of Mum: http://www.mouthsofmums.com.au

It is the middle of the night, you are awake again, not because you want to be, it is feeding time.

You are trying to be in the moment with your baby, but you forget how much sleep you have had, maybe a couple of hours. There is always so much to do. Cooking, washing, work. You reach for your phone to get some insight into the real world. Open Facebook.
The pictures pop-up – one mum has cooked cupcakes, another has had a very messy craft session, some have gone to music class or rhyme time or swimming. Pushing their designer pram to play dates in cafes. All the mums looking perfect – with hair and make-up. All the babies are perfect. You find you have once again fallen asleep feeding your baby, boobs hanging out, mouth hanging open, exhaustion, despair that you are not like ‘those’ mums.
The thing with social media is that people choose what they post. They choose the photo they upload. What you see when you see the pictures of all the amazing mums is that moment in time. You are not seeing the mounds of washing or the full kitchen sink or the moment in the middle of the night that is a bit tough. The relationship problems. All you see is that beautiful, happy picture for that moment.
A recent survey by Parents found that 79% of respondents felt that parents overshare on social media. Yet that is the type of society that we live in, that our children are being born into. Where every happy, braggable moment is posted on Facebook, tweeted or pinned for the whole world to see.
This same survey found that 67% think most parents aren’t honest on social media about the realities of parenting. The happy picture which is taken at that moment in time is, in most cases, not telling the real story. Remember this – no person or parent is perfect.
The other Phenomenon about parenting through social media, is that many people are posting looking for likes and beautiful comments – to affirm that they are really doing a great job. We all understand that there is no harder job in this world than being a parent. What happens when you do post a picture of you and baby out and about – or a milestone comment and you don’t get the affirmation that you are searching for or someone makes a comment that you don’t like? Does that also make you feel like a bad parent?
Social media is only new, and the effects it is having on our society – and people – are only just starting to be studied. For many new parents, it becomes a safe place to go to ask questions, post your baby pictures and share the milestones. For some, it becomes a place where they feel judgement, a place where they believe they are not living up to the mythical perfect parent. For children who are born in this era of social media, they already have a social profile. That is something that you, as parents, also need to be aware of.
Share on social media, be cautious not to overshare. Mix up the ‘structured’ perfect shots with the not-so-perfect. Show people you are real. Comment on other people’s photos, be positive and encouraging. If you need help, ask. It is always amazing where you will find your support community. Remember that you are creating your child’s social profile that could potentially stay with them for life.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what others are doing, the only person who matters is you. Know that you are doing the absolute best job you can and for that you are an amazing parent. You don’t need likes and comments on social media to tell you that – tell yourself – everyday!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

There is no tougher job

This article was first published at A Connected Life: www.dorothyk.com.au

When a mother of five children ranging in ages from 30 down to 12 tells you that it is tough but it gets better you know that day-by-day it will get easier. Sometimes it is hard to see that it will get better, it is hard to see that there is good in every situation. That day-by-day you are learning and one day you will look back and see the good things, if you have taken the time to enjoy those moments.

There have been many days in the last 5 and a half years where I have wanted to run away and join the circus. Times when demands from clients, family, friends and my baby have felt way too much. When I have been giving so much to everyone else and not getting anything back in return. Worse I was so busy giving to everyone that I forgot to enjoy the little moments with my baby.
My baby is now a big school girl – I love her like nothing else I have ever loved – there are times I wish we could go back to the days of cuddling on the couch and I could simply enjoy it. To be in that moment in my body and my mind – not thinking of the 20,000 other things I thought I should have been doing.
I wish I had slowed my business down – not thought that I could continue doing everything I had pre-baby, plus more.
There is nothing like a baby and a child to give perspective on life. To reset your priorities. For me, my business priorities have shifted dramatically. I have removed things from my life that do not make me money or give me satisfaction. I spend time with people who are good for both my family and myself. I have made the changes today that I should have made when Sophie was born. It didn’t happen overnight – it 18 months of living in a pressure cooker and two years of stripping away ‘stuff’ for me to get to where I am today.
Here is the thing though – I could have been in this place quicker if I had been better prepared to be a mum AND a business owner. Here is my breakthrough advice – it is possible to choose to put your business in maintenance mode after you have a baby. To focus on the core parts of your business (those things that make you money) and to make it easier for you to keep operating on those parts of your business.
Here are 5 tips to help you put your business into maintenance mode:
  • Set-up processes and systems
  • Automate
  • Outsource
  • Continue to communicate with the outside world through email, social media, newsletters and so on
  • Network with like minded people who respect that you are a business owner AND mum and accept your baby attachment!
This is your life and it is your business – there is no right or wrong way to do things. Be a business owner and dare to do it a little differently. Be a mum that is present with your baby and children. Do not feel judgement, understand that at that moment in time you are doing the best that you can. Enjoy the life that you are designing.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A Review: Finding balance between work and motherhood

This was a review written by Mel Gandevia and orignally published at The Well Planned Wife: http://www.wellplannedwife.com

In a true indication of how I’m struggling to find a balance between work and motherhood (and anything else), I started reading When Business Meets Baby, a relatively short book, about 8 weeks ago. I struggle to find the time to read these days!
This book is very special to me, because I’m quoted in it! It’s pretty exciting to have a book sitting on my shelf that I’m quoted in. The book focuses on the author, Rachel Allen’s, journey to both grow her business and settle into motherhood. Unfortunately, Rachel and I have shared the experience of losing our mums before our daughters were born, so Rachel asked if she could quote this post in her book.
When Business Meets Baby is also a collection of advice from high-profile working mums, including Carolyn Creswell and Janine Allis. Below is some of the advice I took from the book:
  • The pressure many feel when becoming a mum is real: “Be The Best Mother. Keep the maternal health nurse happy, work towards the next baby milestone, go to mothers’ group, tell everyone how great you are doing. Smile. Cope. Get the baby to sleep without screaming. Do the books, update the website, answer emails, get some sleep.”
  • The vision may not match reality: “Some new mums have a pre-conceived idea of what type of mother they will be. They often model themselves after their own mother (or parents), or they have a fantasy idea about what a baby should be like. They become lost in a world of trying to understand their new baby, and spend fruitless hours trying to meet an “ideal” of how things should be (an ideal that it rarely realistic). They do this instead of just enjoying the moment.”
  • “Understand that it is OK to change your priorities as your baby grows, and it is OK to change the way you think. Parenting offers the ultimate gift of learning. Trust in your intuition across all areas of your life and business.”
  • As the saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but unfortunately, in modern society, many of us are going it alone. According to this book, “there is a solution: we can consider what roles are most important to us, accept our limitations, decide what we can let go of and learn to engage and respect outside support. At a deeper level we are being asked to examine our beliefs and attitudes around child-raising and to acknowledge that much of what we strive for is not really healthy for us or our children.”
  • “A wise woman, Hazel Walker, once said that you can always earn more money but you can’t buy more time. Investing in help is my way of buying more time. The trick is to prioritise to make the very best use of your time.”
  • “Everyone has the same 168 HOURS in a week, and although life can be unpredictable with a young child, somehow we always seem to find the time for the urgent priorities, the mundane things and the fun things.”
  • And finally, don’t be afraid to make the choices that are best for your family.
At its core, When Business Meets Baby is about acceptance of the new role you’re taking on in becoming a mum, and being present in every moment, whether that’s at work or at home.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Being a thriving mum in business

This article originally published on Mouths of Mums: http://www.mouthsofmums.com.au

It is possible to be a business mum who thrives at both being a mum and a business owner.

All you need is balance. To find your balance you first need to define what it means for you.
Think about what your balanced life will look like. In business, life and for yourself. Ask yourself – what would you achieve in your business daily, weekly, monthly, this year? How much money could you earn? What would you do with that money? What do you want to achieve in your life daily, weekly, monthly, this year and in five years? What does that look like for yourself, your partner and your children? What about you – how do you look after yourself and motivate yourself daily, weekly, monthly and yearly? Do you reward yourself, celebrate your successes both big and small?

So, what does balance look like to you?
What is stopping you from achieving your balance and thriving in your life? Is it time, support, focus, motivation? Is it your mindset and the excuses you create for yourself? Are you so stuck that you don’t know where to begin?
You could start by following these tips:
1. Answer the questions above – don’t think of where you are in life, think about where you want to be.
2. Next to each answer write your reason why you are not doing that now. It could be you never thought about it before, or you need to look after your kids, you don’t have time, it scares you. Whatever reason you have write it down and be honest!
3. Then next to the reason, write real or perceived – that is it is in your head.
4. Next to real, write what you need in your life to be able to achieve what you need to. Is it time, childcare, money…. Then go and ask for help from someone who can help you remove these barrier.
5. Next to perceived, write ‘excuse’. These are your immediate things to implement in your life starting today, make this your priority.
You are working hard at being in business and, also raising healthy, happy children. Don’t let the stories you tell yourself stop you from finding balance and thriving in your life.